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  1. 03 Nov '08 22:36
    I am thinking about reviewing my entire collection for fun.

    The collection is over 400.

    Is anyone interested?
  2. 03 Nov '08 22:37
    Originally posted by paulbuchmanfromfics
    I am thinking about reviewing my entire collection for fun.

    The collection is over 400.

    Is anyone interested?
    Maybe for one or two.

    I hope you don't plan on posting ALL 400?

  3. 03 Nov '08 22:39
    I'm interested in the top 50 perhaps.
  4. 03 Nov '08 23:29
    I'm starting at the upper left hand corner of the book shelf.
    These are in no pariticual order, but I used to have them all sorted correctly.

    1. U.S. Chess Federation's Official Rules Of Chess

    Not really necessary. It's just all the official rules of chess. It's geared more at tournament directors, which I considered doing at one time. On a lighter note, I did start a local chess club and needless to say we had more boards than players. Three friends that already played and one person who didn't know how the pieces moved showed up. 🙂

    2. The Complete Chess Player by Fred Reinfeld Copyright 1953, renewed 1981.

    I have a fond memory of buying this book on a shopping trip to Memphis. It is a nice sort of all in one book on chess. It starts with how the pieces move and works its way up. Included are simple tactics, basic endgames, a look at some endings in detail, middlegame strategy, and principles of openings. From there starts one of my old favorites. A short but detailed analysis of the openings. It is surprising what all this "all in one" book covers. Even greenpawn's baby, the Latvian (aka Greco Counter Gambit) has a line in here. It is basically a line or two of each variation with some explanations. In the back are some nice illustrative games with annotations. As far as an "all in one" book goes, this is one of my favorites. Bear in mind the book is dated and in descriptive notation.

    3. How To Cheat At Chess

    Nothing really here for improvement. Just enjoyment. Mostly funny stories.
    Not really my cup of tea.

    4. Lasker's Manual Of Chess By Dr. Emanuel Lasker
    Another "all in one" book. This one is by a man who held the title for 27 years though !!!
    It is very similar to The Complete Chessplayer above.
    You get how the pieces move, the elements, openings (with detailed analysis from Lasker's day),etc. It does go to more advanced concepts. Another great "all in one" book. Perhaps even better than The Complete Chessplayer.

    5. Common Sense In Chess By Emanuel Lasker
    A collection of 12 lectures by Lasker. I'd say more for the collector than someone trying to improve. That may be an unfair assessment though. I haven't read the whole book.

    6. The Game Of Chess by Siegbert Tarrasch

    Another "all in one" book by one of the first positional masters. Dated but good. Very similar to The Complete Chessplayer and Lasker's Manual Of Chess.

    Keep Going?
  5. 03 Nov '08 23:47
    Originally posted by paulbuchmanfromfics
    I'm starting at the upper left hand corner of the book shelf.
    These are in no pariticual order, but I used to have them all sorted correctly.

    1. U.S. Chess Federation's Official Rules Of Chess

    Not really necessary. It's just all the official rules of chess. It's geared more at tournament directors, which I considered doing at one time. ...[text shortened]... to The Complete Chessplayer and Lasker's Manual Of Chess.

    Keep Going?
    Paul dude i thought you were gonna give us a review of the classics, you know, you're all time favs starting from number one in descending order, like a hit parade of chess books 😀
  6. Standard member ptobler
    03 Nov '08 23:48
    Sure! Might buy some (from booksellers) after your reviews!
  7. Standard member ptobler
    03 Nov '08 23:51
    Keep going? Yep!
  8. 04 Nov '08 00:01
    7. Play Winning Chess by Seirawan and Silman

    The first chessbook I ever bought !!! It is without a doubt one of my favorites. This is a basic book. It starts with how the pieces move.
    Next the four elements of chess are covered:force, time,space, and pawn structure. Next are some nice annotated games, followed by a photo album, and a glossary. A nice first book to have. This and the next two books will give you a nice foundation to start your chess on.

    8. Winning Chess Tactics By Seirawan and Silman

    The follow up to Play Winning Chess above. Various tactics are covered (windmill, fork, skewer, x-ray, etc.). The second half of the book is by far my favorite. It covers great tacticians with a photo, brief biography, and very well annotated game. First is Adolph Anderssen all the way to Garry Kasparov. Next are tests and solutions.
    A great book in my opinion.

    9. Winning Chess Strategies By Seirawan and Silman

    The follow up to Winning Chess Tactics. Tactics being what to do and strategy being how to do it. 🙂 More advanced concepts are covered in this book. Using a material advantage, stopping counterplay, creation of targets, etc are covered in this one. In the back you get a photo, brief biography, and well annotated game of great strategic players (not covered in the tactics book). It starts with Steinitz and ends with Karpov. At the time I bought these three books, there were only 4 out in the Seirawan/Silman series. The fourth I will review next. Since then, they have added an opening and endgame book. I can't speak for those but these three really gave me a great start at chess.

    10. Winning Chess Brilliancies by Yasser Seirawan

    Book 4 in the above series but not like the others. This one is a collection of 12 deeply annotated games. The games are remarkable and the annotations are out of this world. Game 1 is Fischer-Spassky 1972 game 6. After 1.c4, there are 4 paragraphs of commentary. All that on a single move. This really is an excellent book, which stands on its own. Be warned, these are games by the world's elite GMs. They may be a little hard to grasp but the annotations make them easier to understand. 🙂 Imagine 12 games annotated over 241 pages !!!

    11. Weapons Of Chess By Bruce Pandolfini

    A nice introduction to strategy. Not really a puzzle book. It's kind of like this is a backward pawn, diagram/example. This is how you would exploit it. A brief illustration of various terms/positions. Bad bishop, doubled pawns, isolated pawn, etc. Just a little explanation of what they are and how to deal with them. Aimed at someone who knows how the pieces move but generally wants to start thinking strategically. I remember it may have helped a little when I first started but now I generally don't think it's necessary.

    12. Master Checkmate Strategy By Bill Robertie

    Very Basic Book ... Mostly Tactics ... Not Recommended

    13. Winning Chess: How To See Three Moves Ahead by Chernev and Reinfeld

    A nice little book to help your chess vision. It is tactic puzzle type book with some text. I haven't read it in a long time. Basically, you get a diagram with a win in 3. Then in the column on the next page, there is a diagram after the first move has been played. You actually just look to your right for the next move ! The idea is to teach you to look ahead, possibly without setting up an actual board. A lot of tactical themes are covered by chapter (pin, fork, discovered attack, etc). There are even a few annotated games in the back. Descriptive Notation ... Dated ... But this type of chess doesn't date. 🙂
  9. 04 Nov '08 00:34
    14. Chess Traps, Pitfalls, And Swindles: How To Set Them And How To Avoid Them by Horowitz and Reinfeld

    Descriptive Notation ... A very fun book. It's mostly a collection of tactics that caught unsuspecting players off guard. There are some nice tactics in this book along with nice (sometimes funny) commentary. Beware of free pawns !!! 🙂

    15. Bobby Fischer's Outrageous Chess Moves By Bruce Pandolfini

    A fun little tactics book. It is a collection of tactics played by the man, himself. They range from difficulty of 1 ( a fork) to 5 (a very deep combination). Short and sweet. 100 tactics with the actual games (unannotated) included in the back.

    16. 200 Intriguing Chess Puzzles By Martin Grief
    This is more of a chess problem type book than a chess tactics book. The solutions are surprisingly quite difficult (mate in 4).
    Just diagrams and solutions.
    Not my cup of tea but a great book if you are into hard problems.

    17. 1001 Brilliant Ways To Checkmate By Reinfeld

    The classic (pre computer) tactics book. 1001 diagrams with forced mates in the solution. Very Good Training. No text but the solutions are in the back. A Long Held Classic !!!

    18. 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices And Combinations By Reinfeld

    The other classic (pre computer) tactics book. 1001 diagrams with forced wins assorted by theme (fork, pin, discovered attack). Very Good Training . No text but the solutions are in the back. A Long Held Classic !!!

    19. Combination Challenge by Lou Hays

    Very similar to the two books above. Diagrams with solutions at the end of the chapter. This one is in algebraic. He gives credit to Reinfeld in the book, so some of the tactics may be the same.
    Good Tactics Training.

    20. Combinations : The Heart Of Chess By Chernev

    Starts out with various combinations. Then has chapters with combinations by Anderssen, Morphy, Capablanca, etc.
    Good but not great.

    21. The Art Of Chess Combination By Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

    Another Classic
    Not just diagrams to move but how the actual combinations come about. A Lot Of Text ... I really don't remember reading it, so I can't give a fair review.

    22. Chess Combinations By Koblents
    Another tactics book. Very Small Book only 75 pages. Ok but again not great.

    23. Chess Combinations Of The World Champions

    Diagrams with a world champion/you to move. More of the same.

    24. Winning With Chess Psychology By Pal Benko

    One of my all time favorites !!!
    Many examples of psychology being used in chess games. It starts with Lasker ( An example would be him playing for the attack rather than the "best" move against Marshall because Marshall loved to attack himself !!! )
    A very nice book with many positions and good frank talk from Benko.
    Chapters include Chess As A Fight, Chess As Art, Chess As Sport, all the way to Time Pressure Terrors.
    Good commentary of various World Championship matches.
    It includes two of Benko's wins over Fischer and the ideas behind them. I can't find it but I remember a funny story of him being out all night drinking before one game in the book.
    This is one of my personal all time favorites. It's not for beginners but highly recommended. The back of mine has $15 Retail. If you decide to look for a copy, don't get taken. 🙂
  10. 04 Nov '08 00:54
    25. Chess For Fun And Chess For Blood By Edward Lasker

    A lot of text. Very Little Actual Chess. Enjoyable But Not Necessary

    26. The Logical Approach To Chess By Euwe

    Very Basic Book By a World Champion

    27. Chess Strategy By Ed Lasker

    Another "all in one" book. Much like the others

    28. and 29. The Middle Game Books 1 and 2 By Euwe and Kramer

    I have the old hardbook descriptive ones. I think they are now in algebraic.
    Long Held As Classic Texts On The Middlegame
    If I'm not mistaken, Silman even recommends them in the back of How To Reassess Your Chess.
    They are excellent !
    Book One is Static Features. It covers the "worth" of pieces. Also covered are closed formations, open formations, the minority attack, the isolated pawn, hanging pawns, and backward pawns.
    Book Two is Dynamic And Subjective Features. The activity of pieces, attacking the castled/uncastled king, and many other strategic themes are covered. My favorite is there are chapters on players. Steinitz As A Defender and Alekhine's Dynamic Maneuvering would be two examples. The last part is called Personal Style. You get a brief bio and examples of various great players' personal styles.
    These two books are a must have in any library. They include many, many positions and diagrams. Outstanding

    30. The Middlegame In Chess By Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

    A lot of text on how to play the middlegame. I don't remember reading this one either, so I can't give a fair review. In my opinion though, not as important as some other books.
  11. 04 Nov '08 01:02
    Paul....Instead of going through all 400, can you list all the titles first or take some digital photos, then we can request what we want reviewed.
  12. 04 Nov '08 01:06
    Only 370 more to go. Keep going Paul!
  13. 04 Nov '08 01:06 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by passedpawn22
    Paul....Instead of going through all 400, can you list all the titles first or take some digital photos, then we can request what we want reviewed.
    Don't encourage him - he's mad.

    Paul - put titles in BOLD - it would read better.

    Chess Traps
    A book about chess traps!
  14. 04 Nov '08 01:15
    31. Modern Chess Strategy By Ludek Pachman

    Covers various aspects of the game.
    Minor pieces, rooks, pawns, the center, minority attack, etc.
    A Classic but I think it has all been done before. Not Necessary

    32. Judgement And Planning In Chess By Max Euwe

    Algebraic Edition
    Very good book about positional chess
    Chapters include pawn majority on the queenside, queenside attack, knight vs bad bishop, weakening the king, attacking the king, weak pawns, strong squares.
    I know it sounds like a lot of other middlegame books but this one sticks out for some reason. I really like it..

    33. The Art Of The Middlegame by Keres and Kotov


    This may very well be a must have.
    It is kind of advanced but very good.
    Various chapters on attacks on the king, defense, pawn positions, and how to analyse.
    It's a dover book, so its not to expensive. ( $8.95 Retail)
    This is another Silman recommendation. I quote Silman here.
    " The Keres' chapter on the art of defending difficult positions is tremendous."
    It is absolutely outstanding. He illustrates ways to make a real fight of some seemingly lost positions. A lot of text.
    Outstanding !!!

    34. How To Reassess Your Chess (3rd Edition) By Jeremy Silman

    Another MUST HAVE. It is a little advanced as well. This book starts out with basic rook endings ( The Lucena And Philidor Positions). You must know them if you ever get to the level where a pawn advantage must be turned into a win/draw. The rest of the book is about planning. You learn to way the differences of both sides (no matter how small) and formulate a plan around it. He uses many examples from modern chess. This is THE BOOK on how to formulate a plan.
    If you still drop pieces or overlook basic tactics this might not be the right book for you (although I still do it from time to time myself).

    Highly Recommended (But A Little Advanced)
  15. 04 Nov '08 01:44
    35.The Amateur's Mind By Jeremy Silman

    Silman truly is one of THE GREAT chess authors.
    He actually recommends reading the first part of How To Reassess Your Chess and then picking up this one (before a return to the other). I think I got that off the Dan Heisman page. Anyway, this book is a great one. He takes positions from well known master games and sets them up for his students. He asks them not only to move but also to describe their whole though process before deciding. In this way, we get to hear what mistakes or misconceptions players have in their minds. He doesn't just pick on the little guys either. The ratings of his students range from about 1000 to 1850 and higher. He does show the actual outcome of the game and go into detail of how it "works" too. This is an excellent book on its own and as a companion to " How To Reassess Your Chess".
    Highly Recommended

    36. Think Like A Grandmaster By Alexander Kotov

    Another LONG HELD CLASSIC. ( Not to be confused with Think Like A Grandmother ... A funny article in one of my BDG magazines. LOL)

    This is a VERY ADVANCED book on how to calculate. You get the famous "tree" of analysis. This is a very difficult read. (In fact I haven't read it all.) I hear it is absolutely worth it though. Silman says it is a lot of work but fun to read. Very Highly Praised by Strong Players. There are a few other Like A Grandmaster books as well. I think someone may have 3 of them on ebay now.
    This books brings another story to mind. I was at my first tournament. I was self taught from books and ran into this kid. He kept on and on about Think Like A Grandmaster. I was shocked that 14 year old could grasp all the concepts in this book. Whether he did or not is another story but I still get a kick out of that. He was all booked up in the Najdorf/KID/etc. Someone played the simple Closed Sicilian against him and ripped him apart. 🙂 I got a devilish grin out of that. Due to some fairly lucky pairings, I did manage to get 2nd in the under section myself. 🙂

    37. Pawn Power In Chess By Kmoch
    I think it's in algebraic now, mine isn't. Another CLASSIC.
    Many aspects of pawn play are covered. He comes up with his on terms to describe them. I mentioned this in another post. 1.e4 e5 2.f4. The f pawn is a "lever". It opens the game/f file. Stuff Like That

    38. Chess For Tigers by Simon Webb

    I have the 2nd Edition. The 3rd may be out now.
    Another of my PERSONAL FAVORITES.
    A really fun read, with cartoon pictures and everything. 🙂
    Chapters include play the man not the board, how to trap Heffalumps, and Clock Control.
    There is even a chapter on postal play.
    He gives common sense advice on many aspects.
    There is a wonderful chapter on beating stronger players. He shows a really nice and complicated trap that someone used to beat GM Walter Browne.
    It also deals with how to beat lower rated draw happy opponents.
    I recall and excellent French Exchange where Uhlmann slowly outplayed his lower rated opponent despite the drawish nature of the opening.
    Great Stuff
    Highly Recommended (And Very Enjoyable)

    39. Combinations In The Middlegame by Bondarevsky

    Explanations of combinations and how they work. I haven't read it all. Considered great but not a must have in my opinion.

    40. Chess Tactics For Advanced Players By Yuri Averbakh


    Great book. Be warned ... It covers some very advanced (hard) tactics. It is certainly a great book though. Well Worth The Time And Effort.

    Highly Recommended

    Time for a little dinner break.
    Be back later tonight. 🙂